New F1 backer Emirates, the Dubai-owned airline, could also return to the sport as a team sponsor.
Earlier this month, Bernie Ecclestone announced a five-year branding deal has been agreed between formula one and the airline. But in 2006, as McLaren plugged the one-season gap between its title sponsors West and Vodafone, Emirates had a prominent place on the silver livery.
Now as a major F1 sponsor, could Emirates consider backing a team again?
“If they feel that they want to expand into that area … if they decide to get back into that again then yes, I think it is quite a natural thing to do,” F1 chief executive Ecclestone told Arabian Business.
Emirates chairman Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed al-Maktoum is also not ruling it out.
“I think we always like to be associated with the top sports and F1 is one of the top sports around the world,” he is quoted as saying.
“What we did seven years ago (with McLaren) was because there was a window and there was an opportunity for Emirates. It was good actually,” he added.